Friday 2 November 2012

CETA negotiations: criminal sanctions provisions watered down

Criminal scantions to be watered down
not thrown out completely
Negotiations on the proposed free trade and copyright agreement between Canada and the European Union, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which started in 2009 might be concluded by the end of the year. Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade, has said in an interview with that he and his Canadian counterpart are hoping to "close the deal" but that "we should have no illusions, there are still a number of difficult issues to tackle".

As previously reported, it is no secret that many of the copyright provisions in CETA are copyright are identical to the controversial ACTA, which was recently rejected by the European Parliament. De Gucht, has however conceded that "since the negative vote of the European Parliament on ACTA, we have been changing the language obviously".

According to the Irish site TechCentral, following a meeting of the EU Member States on 5 October, documents leaked from the from the Cyprus Presidency of the EU have shown  that the EU plans to move away from criminal sanctions in CETA. The intellectual property protection chapter is now understood to say that countries "may" provide for criminal procedures and penalties.

Further the parties have yet to agree provisions regarding filming within cinemas, or "camcording". The Canadians have asked for criminal sanctions to be imposed in respect of camcording (Canada has had a law against camcording since 2007) however according to the leaked documents the EU isn't keen on the concept.

Will we see a final version of CETA before the end of the year? This blogger is not holding her breath.

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